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License Plate Gallery

License Plate Sticker Colors, Part 3: 1998-present

These tables summarize the colors of validation stickers used on passenger-car, light truck, and motorcycle license plates in all North American jurisdications during the last twenty years.

Several interesting trends have come about in this time. One is the increasing use of point-of-sale terminals to generate license plate renewals and print validation stickers on demand. These systems often utilize laser printers, and allow for the license plate number to be printed on the sticker itself. Unfortunately, these trends have been regressive in terms of aesthetics and utility. Thirteen of the states that use such a system don't even bother changing the sticker stock color from year to year, making it impossible to tell at a glance whether a tag has expired or not. Many more no longer use color schemes that involve print colors other than black.

Another emerging trend has been the elimination of plate stickers themselves: Due to the growing ubiquity of computers in law-enforcement work, police officers can access details about registration records without needing to rely on stickers to establish validity. Validation stickers have been eliminated altogether by Quebec, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, and Manitoba in Canada as well as New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania in the U.S., while New York, Texas, and the D.C. reserve plate stickers for motorcycles and trailers only.

United States
< Alabama 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Alaska 98 99 00a 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12b 13b 14b 15 16b 17 18 19
Arizona Emission 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07a 08c 09a 10a 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Non-emission 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
Arkansas 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
California 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
< Colorado Emission 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Non-emission 98 99 00 01 02 03
Connecticut 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09d 10d 11d 12d Stickers discontinued.
Delaware Colors vary. e f 11f 12f 13f 14f 15f 16f 17f 18 19 20
District of Columbia 98 99 00 01 02 03g 04g 05d 06d 07d 08d 09d 10d 11d 12d 13d 14d 15d
Florida 98 99 00 01h 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
< Georgia 98 99 00b 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09i 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Hawaii 98 99 00 01 02 03 04b 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Idaho 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08a 09b 10b 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Illinois 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Indiana 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Iowa 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
< Kansas 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Kentucky 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15a 16a 17 18
LouisianaCars 98 99 00 01 02 03a 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Trucks/MCs 98 04
Maine 98 99 00j 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Maryland 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09ab 10a 11a 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
< Massachusetts 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Michigan 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Minnesota 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Mississippi 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Missouri - 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
MontanaCars 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
< Motorcycles 98 99 00 01 PERM Validation stickers discontinued after 2003.
Nebraska 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Nevada 98 99 00 01 02 03 04b 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
New Hampshire 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
New Jersey 98d 99d 00g 01 02 03 04 05 06d 07d 08d 09d 10d 11d Stickers discontinued after 2011.
New Mexico 98 99 00 01a 02a 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
< New York (motorcycles) 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
North Carolina 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16a 17
North Dakota 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05b 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Ohio 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Oklahoma Regular 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Special 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Oregon 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
< Pennsylvania 98 99 00 01g 02g 03g 04g 05g 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18k 19k 20k
Rhode Island 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
South Carolina 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
South Dakota Regular 98 99 00b 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Special 98 99 00b
Tennessee 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
< Texas (motorcycles) 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05a 06a 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15
Utah 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Vermont 98 99 00 01 02 03 04a 05a 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Virginia 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Washington 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
West Virginia 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
< Wisconsin 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Wyoming 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

a Some examples of these stickers were black on white.

b Some examples of these stickers had black characters on a color background.

c Some examples of these stickers were white on black.

d Issued to motorcycles only. Passenger cars issued windshield stickers instead (except for 2006-11 New Jersey, where no visible validation was used).

e Beginning in December 2005, newly-issued Delaware validation stickers have been black on white regardless of month and year. Expirations from December '06 to (presumably) November '10 existed in both old and new color schemes.

f Stickers used on Delaware's optional "Centennial Plate" base (introduced October 2008) have been black on gold.

g Or windshield/window sticker.

h Some examples of these stickers were black on yellow.

i Later examples of these stickers had black print and white fields on a color background.

j Early examples of Maine '00 stickers issued to motorcycles and trailers were white on green:

00

k Pennsylvania discontinued license plate stickers in 2017. Stickers expiring in 2018 or later were issued primarily to trailers with long-term expirations.


Canada
< British Columbia 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Alberta 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Saskatchewan 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 Stickers discontinued after 2013.
Manitoba 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Ontario Jan-Mar 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Apr-Jun 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
< Jul-Sep 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Oct-Dec 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Quebec Validation stickers discontinued after 1992.
New Brunswick 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Nova Scotia 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Prince Edward Island 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
< Newfoundland & Labradorb 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Yukonb 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Northwest Territories 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12a 13 14 15 Stickers discontinued.
Nunavutc 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

a Later examples of Northwest Territories '12 stickers were white on green:

12

b The province of Newfoundland officially changed its name to "Newfoundland & Labrador" in 2001, and the Yukon Territory officially changed its name to simply "Yukon" in 2002. In both cases, this happened decades after the revised names first appeared on license plates.

c The area comprising Nunavut existed as part of the Northwest Territories until 1999.

With thanks to: Keith Dickson, Jeff Ellis, Mike Franks, Josh King, Eric Maki, John Northup, Matthew Thoreson.

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Last update 27 November 2017.